August 15, 1999
Gettin' High On Your Own Supply
Anyone Remember [I][B]Roobarb And Custard[/B][/I]?...
8 / 10
Anyone Remember Roobarb And Custard? The Soup Dragons' 'I'm Free'? That 'Gym & Tonic' record everyone hated until they found out it was by Thomas Bangalter? Well, Apollo Four Forty make those kind of records. The kind of records everyone finds just a little distasteful for their finer aesthetic sensibilities but will gleefully wig out to at a moment's notice after five pints.
There is a disgracefully cheesy, cripplingly naff glory about the recent hit 'Stop The Rock' that kind of sums up their oeuvre. That awful Metal Mickey voice, the witless namechecking of Madonna, the Inspirals-esque organ, and yet the idea of sampling Status Quo's 'Caroline' may yet be seen to be a visionary step in the light of the imminent Status Quo revival (see NME, February 2000).
See, these men like the simple pleasures in life, like speeding riffing rock and speeding, thumping breakbeats. They have little time for the subtleties, grace or taste of having zeitgeistically correct beats and the right squiggles.
That is why 'Cold Rock The Mic' samples a Led Zep riff, and why 'Lost In Space' is like junglist death metal. But eclecticism is their first love, as showcased by 'For Forty Days', a startlingly speeded-up trancey piano waterfall over a frantic breakbeat, and 'Heart Go Boom''s dancehall ska silliness. Then the title track has a fire and brimstone preacher's diatribe and you have to admit, in their own clodhopping, drunk-on-enthusiasm way, they sound almost original.
Young, dumb and full of come, this is dance music for people who aren't actually scared of dancing, who actually want, how you say, 'bangin' choons', and care more about enjoying music in the mad, bad, bonkers way it was intended rather than analysing it to find out whether they're allowed to like it. Rockin' all over your preconceptions, then. Now there's a novelty.
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